Tag Archives: SMME

Take your business to the next level

Grow your business

For those you who have succeeded in starting your business and are now ready to take your business to the next level but need a few ideas and tips on how to grow your business. Starting or running your own business can be one of the best decisions you make in life, but it can also lead to some tough and stressful situations, and make you take some decisions.

“It is no easy task but with the right support and a smart approach, the dream of scaling up your venture from start-up to successful business is in reach. If you want to be in business 10 years down the line, you must have a deep understanding of your business, the market it operates in and a great team to support.”- Virgin Founder Richard Branson; plan for the long-term, stick to your founding principles, gather a great team, and get the right support.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to take your business to new heights without sacrificing your business’s profitability or losing your peace of mind. If you hold an executive position, going down the entrepreneurship path, or you have already started a business, here are few ideas to help you take your business to the next level.

There are many potential paths a business can take to achieve growth, and each business needs to analyse and  assess at its own business model and determine its own path. Choosing to adopt one or more of the ideas below will depend on the type of business you own, available resources, cashflow, and time you are willing to invest in your business.

  • Open a branch and location.
  • Franchise your business.
  • Collaborate with other local business and promote your products and services.
  • License your service or branded product.
  • Form alliances with similar types of business’s.
  • Look for ways to increase sales to existing customers.
  • One person operators should consider looking for temporary assistance.
  • Learn to delegate.
  • Optimize collaboration and teamwork.
  • Expand your product line to offer complementary products or services.
  • Place more emphasis and training on customer service.
  • Expand your target market.
  • Strive for excellence throughout your business.
  • Make sure you have fun and never lose sight of reality.
  • Evaluate your vision, mission and goals; and adjust your business plan if required.
  • Repackage and find new ways to sell your product.
  • Accept failures and part of the growth path and learning process.
  • Study market leaders and lose your ego and analyze your competition.
  • Hire carefully and slowly; but be ready to fire quickly.
  • Bid for government jobs and tenders.
  • Invest more time and energy in developing your referral sources.
  • Merge or acquire businesses offering complementary services.
  • Commit to continuous learning and advance your knowledge.
  • Identify and correct “system” bottlenecks.
  • Go global.
  • Create a website and maximize exposure with social media.As a business owner you need to inspire, developed lead by example.

Efficiency and skills vital for small business growth and development



General performance along with investment in skills development is crucial to making sure the expansion of Small Medium Micro Enterprises (SMMEs), suggests

Gauteng MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, Nkosiphendule Kolisile


At the recent annual International Small Business Congress (ISBC) Kolosile stated that efficiency is paramount to make sure that small businesses are capable of doing well and achieve a competitive edge both nationally and internationally.

For South African SMMEs to succed it is vital that they become more efficient to allow them to effectively play their role in establishing sustainable employment as well as realize inclusive economic growth.

South Africa would need to make investments in skills development in order to enhance and strengthen the capacity of human resources within the SMMEs and cooperatives. We will need to enhance their capabilities and know-how as numerous studies have shown that with the required support, SMMEs could possibly end up being the foundation of employment creation in the country.

To deal with the country’s disturbing 25.4% unemployment rate, all provinces ought take the lead from Gauteng who have implemented steps and procedures to support SMMEs prevail over challenges and barriers by setting up the Gauteng Economic Propeller, amongst other things.

The Propeller has been given the job of furnishing financial together with non-financial support to SMMEs and cooperatives. In addition, it offers the means to access information, which has been recognized as a critical obstacle to SMMEs’ development and growth.

The intention of the conference was to brings together small business policymakers and provide a stage for policymakers to discuss ideas and best practices with regards to improving support to both survivalist micro enterprises as well as nurturing more high-growth firms.

This is the very first time the conference has been held in Africa.

Source: SAnews.gov.za


International Small Business Congress coming to SA in 2012


Small business in South Africa will receive a boost in the coming year when the country hosts one of the primary international business congresses in Johannesburg.

Representatives from the US, Europe as well as the rest of the world are going to get together at the Sandton Convention Centre between 15 and 18 September 2012 for what will be Africa’s very first International Small Business Congress (ISBC).

The congress will be hosted in collaboration with The City of Johannesburg, Foundation for African Business and Consumer Services, Khula Enterprises and Finance and the Small Enterprise Development Agency. The congress will exhibit activities associated with small business development in South Africa and around the world.

As outlined by 2012 congress director Septi Bukula, the main objective of the conference is to expose small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to business opportunities in South Africa as well as in various areas of the world.

Those most likely to participate in the congress are SME practitioners, policymakers from government, trade associations, banks seeking to assist small businesses, small business support organisations, academics and entrepreneurs.

The congress will in addition host an exhibition where organizations can showcase and market their products and services.

The theme for the event is Fostering small business in new and high-potential industries worldwide, and will focus on getting SMEs involved with emerging industries with high-growth prospects.


First congress in Africa

Ever since the first congress in Hawaii in 1974, the ISBC has helped bring together global small business players trying to make improvements to small business practices with a distinct focus on entrepreneurs as well as their environment.

The 2012 event is a milestone for the ISBC and the continent, simply because it will be the very first time that the congress is hosted in Africa.

“ISBC recognises that South Africa is an exciting destination and Africa is an emerging global player. The ISBC is attempting to build in Africa given that it never really focused on it before,” said Bukula.

Subject areas to be discussed at next year’s congress include things like e-commerce and ways in which small firms can make use of the internet to their advantage.

Other discussion topics will be systems to boost management capacity; gathering and disseminating information on new and high-growth opportunities; incubation and technology demonstration; along with innovation, intellectual property, and research and development capabilities.


Challenges facing SMEs


The poor condition of the current global economy has had an adverse influence on small businesses worldwide, as stated by Bukula. This will also be one of the primary talking points at next year’s congress.

“All of us are going to be exploring the impact of the current global economy. We may at the same time cover ways in which small businesses will respond to a depressed economy,” he was quoted saying.

Having said that, he added that in many cases, small businesses simply do not possess the capacity to respond to a stressed economy.

The congress will in addition deal with the issues small businesses encounter when accessing new markets, in search of finance to either start-up or expand, and operating under strict government regulations.

Even though these issues relate to small businesses worldwide, South Africa at the same time has its own hurdles. Bukula pointed out the country’s small businesses are hindered by limited skilled labour, which he attributes to the education system.

“Our entrepreneurial abilities are not very strong as a result of … education system. We do not prepare individuals to be self-employed,” he was quoted saying.

Despite the fact that government has invested a ton of money in small business development, Bukula said there exists a need to develop more entrepreneurs in the sector.

He explained that the gap can be closed if students and pupils acknowledge that becoming an entrepreneur is a viable career choice. Bukula is working together with the Department of Trade and Industry to seek out strategies to address this challenge.


Change our value system


Results of a study carried out by the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship discovered that South African students’ role-models are politicians, pop stars and sports stars. “Not a single entrepreneur ended up being listed, yet those are the ones who are the backbones of the economy and provide jobs,” Bukula stated.

This is due to entrepreneurs, particularly those who are struggling, being stigmatised by society if they fail.

He added that perceptions towards business will need to change to ones that are not scared of failure.

“Instead of stigmatising business people who struggle or fail, they ought to be inspired to try harder, try again or try something else,” said Bukula.

He discussed how individuals who have work experience together with the necessary skills and knowledge are well-equipped to start their own businesses, however they do not think of entrepreneurship as a possible option.

The main reason, he said, is a general shortage of programmes to encourage individuals to become business people.

A good way to motivate individuals to become entrepreneurs is for the government to make available incentives when starting up a business.

Entrepreneurs should be given access to existing support programmes to allow them to gain confidence knowing there is a back-up system in place.

Source: mediaclubsouthafrica.com


Business pros mentor SA youth to start their own businesses


South African youth have been encouraged to grab opportunities and not give up on starting their own small businesses.

Motivating young adults to keep working at it, National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) chief executive Steven Ngubeni said “it’s too soon to give up and be hopeless.”

He said youth both in the country and across Africa should not wait to seize opportunities and then “cry foul” once they were gone.

Ngubeni talked to BuaNews on the sidelines of an entrepreneurial mentorship programme made available from the NYDA’s partnership with US based Evo Media.

Ngubeni believed that the majority of small businesses ended up being closed inside a year of establishment as a result of absence of mentorship.

Roughly 50 mentees from the Western Cape are going to reap some benefits from the mentorship programme, set to run for the next few days, before it is moved to Gauteng.

Noli Mini testified at the gathering the fact that her mobile health spar business has been operating well subsequent to benefiting from mentorship from the NYDA.

She pointed out that immediately after three sessions of mentorship, she quit her job to follow her dream.Mini challenged the NYDA to follow up with entrepreneurs and assist them to put into action their business strategies.


NYDA chief executive Steven Ngubeni


She also challenged other entrepreneurs to look for business opportunities and not to assume the NYDA to “perform miracles.”

Geer Kyle Dennison, a young fashion designer who not too long ago relocated to Cape Town from Johannesburg, testified that after benefiting from mentorship, three boutiques had now accepted her clothing line.

Todd Plimpton, a mentor from the US, said he at the same time learnt from the people he mentored, adding that mentoring made it easier for him to “reground” his experiences.

Jabu Cindi, who operates a transport business in Cape Town, mentioned that aside from networking, he expected to learn more from the US mentors.

Having said that, he complained that it was not easy to gain access to the products and services of the NYDA as well as their “processes that take too long.”

Western Cape NYDA chairman Ghaliep Essop said young adults could rise beyond their poor backgrounds to own profitable businesses.

According to the NYDA, in excess of 5 000 young entrepreneurs throughout the country have utilized mentoring provided by local mentors. More than 500 seasoned professionals and entrepreneurs have volunteered to be of assistance to young business people.

It highlighted that more than 50 group mentoring sessions had been held countrywide, covering key issues impacting on small businesses, including the means to access funding, business leadership and staff development.

For more information, please contact National Youth Development Agency – click here

Source: BuaNews


R15m loan fund established to assist KZN youth businesses

A new R15 million SMME loan scheme has been unveiled in KwaZulu-Natal on to assist the younger people with funding for their businesses.

The Imbewu Loan Fund, made available from Ithala and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), has been started to deal with challenges concerning the shortage of the ways to access funding for a good number of businesses in KZN.

The two organizations will offer financial loans of between R50 000 and R5 million to young people aged between 18-35.

Acting MEC for Economic Development and Tourism Ina Cronje talked about how all South Africans have to transform from being a nation of job seekers to one of job creators and entrepreneurs and with the help of this fund available, a certain amount of our younger generation will be given the opportunity to take the lead.


MEC for Finance Ina Cronje


Cronje urged up and coming businesses to identify the business opportunities offered in Kwazulu-Natal and make a contribution to the economic growth and development of of the region..

CEO of NYDA, Steven Ngobeni said the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which took place at the Hilton Hotel, is an example to other provinces in the country to follow.

“Young individuals are confronted with poverty and all sorts of various other economically-related issues. They happen to be fed up with being unemployable and as a result we need to have programmes in this country that will actually ensure that they step out of poverty and unemployment.

“These obstacles can be conquered if we as government agencies interact with each other which happens to be the key reason why Ithala and NYDA have come together with each other to steer the manner in which for other agencies in this country should operate adn move forward,” he was quoted saying.


CEO of NYDA, Steven Ngobeni


MEC Cronje believed this is an fantastic effort and a lot more of these programmes are essential to ensure that the younger generation develop into economically active individuals and consequently have the opportunity to play a role in job creation.

“The indisputable fact that a handful of young adults are seen idling due to their unemployability is often an indicator that we all need to make sure we skill these individuals to enable them to make something of themselves. This initiative’s main objective and goal is to develop entrepreneurs and I am delighted the fact that the NYDA has taken the bull by its horns concerning issues of youth development,” Cronje said.

Siphiwe Madondo, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ithala invited all businesses and individual looking for financial assistance should contact Ithala or NYDA directly but before you do, make certain you have a concrete and clear business plan in place in order to be taken into consideration.


“All of us happen to be incredibly hands on in the business of youth business development. So far, approximately R70 million of funding, was utilized to finance youth businesses during the past year alone as a result of Ithala.

“We would you like to assist young people to be able to start their own businesses that will play a role in job creation in the country. Imbewu Loan Fund is consequently a affirmation that we want the youth to live, breathe and think entrepreneurship. This loan fund is going to focus on small businesses,” he explained.

Cronje added: “See these opportunities when they come up, be ready and willing to start small and work your way up, one step at a time. SMMEs are the backbone of economic growth and development. Avoid being greedy, work your way up legally and professionally to make sure that your good concept flies. Try to find help and assistance where necessary and make sure that you have an understanding of financial management”.

For more information contact Ithala and the National Youth Development Agency directly.

Source: BuaNews